You are on page 1of 4


Any novelist from the Commonwealth of Nations aspires for the Man Booker Prize in their
career which can rightfully be called the Oscars of the literary world.

With the announcement of the Man Booker International Prize on May 22, we bring you the 10
Indian novelists who have been shortlisted for or have won the Bookers.
1) V. S. Naipaul

Indian Novelists Who Made It To Bookers Prize-V. S. Naipaul

This famed novelist might not be from mainland India per se but he is of Indian descent, and
that makes him qualify to be in this list. That being said, he would be the first Indian to be
shortlisted and win the Booker in 1971 for In a Free State. He was shortlisted again in 1979 for
A Bend in the River. This novel is placed at #83 on the Modern Librarys list of the 100 best
English-language novels of the 20th century.
2) Anita Desai

Indian Novelists Who Made It To Bookers Prize-Anita Desai

Anita Desai has been shortlisted at the Bookers not once, not twice, but thrice! The first time
was in 1980 for her post-partition novel Clear Light of Day. In 1984, she made the list for In
Custody that was made into a film in 1993. The third and final time was for her bi-cultural
novel Fasting, Feasting in 1999. Sahitya Akademi awardee, Desais last novel was The Artist of
Disappearance in 2011.
3) Salman Rushdie

Indian Novelists Who Made It To Bookers Prize-Salman Rushdie

Controversial magical realist Salman Rushdie has not only made it to the Bookers four times,
but he has also won the Booker of Bookers and The Best of the Booker prizes as well! And
the latter wins were for the novel that won him his first Booker Midnights Children in
1981. Shame (1983), The Satanic Verses (1988) and The Moors Last Sigh (1995) were the
other novels that landed him in the finalists list in those years.
4) Rohinton Mistry

Indian Novelists Who Made It To Bookers Prize-Rohinton Mistry

Indo-Canadian novelist Rohinton Mistry has only written three novels till today, and has been
shortlisted for Booker all three times. Such a Long Journey, which made the list in 1991, made
more headlines when Bal Thackerays complaints got it removed from University of Mumbais
syllabus. The second book A Fine Balance (1996) has been successfully adapted on stage. The
third and final novel by Mistry is Family Matters (2002).
5) Arundhati Roy

Indian Novelists Who Made It To Bookers Prize-Arundhati Roy

This political activist also won the Booker in 1997 for her debut novel The God of Small
Things. It was the biggest selling-book by a non-expatriate Indian author. Since then, she has
written a number of books and has been more in focus for her political stance and criticism
than for them. She has been the recipient of a great many awards other than the Booker, the
most significant being the Sahitya Akademi award in 2006.
6) Kiran Desai

Indian Novelists Who Made It To Bookers Prize-Kiran Desai

What the mother could not do, the daughter did. Kiran Desais daughter Anita Desai won the
Man Booker in 2006 for her second and last novel The Inheritance of Loss. Her first book
Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard was also critically acclaimed from authors like Salman

Rushdie. In 2010, Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel laureate for literature, publicly announced that he
and Desai were in a relationship a big news for the literary world.
7) Indra Sinha

Indian Novelists Who Made It To Bookers Prize-Indra Sinha

This British-Indian writer had been in the finalists list for his novel on the Bhopal gas tragedy
Animals People in 2007. This author is a passionate campaigner for justice to the victims of
the incident and has done an advertisement, given many interviews and written many articles
regarding the same. Having the distinction of being in the list of the top 10 British copywriters
of all time, Sinha also writes non-fiction and carries out translation of ancient Sanskrit texts
into English.
8) Aravind Adiga

Indian Novelists Who Made It To Bookers Prize-Aravind Adiga

2008 was the third year in a row for Indian novelists to have been nominated for the Booker
Prize and it saw Chennai-born Aravind Adiga taking away the Booker for his debut novel The
White Tiger. A darkly humorous perspective of Indias class struggle in a globalized world this
novel made Adiga the second youngest author to win the award. He is also the fourth author to
win the Booker for their debut novel.
9) Amitav Ghosh

Indian Novelists Who Made It To Bookers Prize-Amitav Ghosh

The same year, Bengali author Amitav Ghosh was also shortlisted for his 6th novel, Sea of
Poppies, making it the only year two Indians made it together to the Booker. This book is the
first of his Ibis trilogy, set before the Opium Wars in the 1830s. His latest novel, River of
Smoke (2011) is the second volume, and the third is yet to be published. He was awarded the
Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2007.

10) Jeet Thayil

Indian Novelists Who Made It To Bookers Prize-Jeet Thayil

Novelist, poet and musician Jeet Thayil is the latest Indian to have been shortlisted for the
Man Booker Prize in 2012. It was for his debut and only work of fiction Narcopolis. Dealing
with the Bombay of 1970s, it is a tale of a mans journey in and out of the intoxication of
opium. This novel, which took him five years to write, is about his own experiences as a drug

While we celebrate our national literary geniuses, another of them - U. R. Ananthamurthy

has been a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2013. Good luck to the Kannada
author and happy reading folks.